|System: PSP, DS, X360, PS3, Wii, PC, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Eurocom||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Disney Interactive||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 22, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
June 12, 2007 - Jack's back, and he's on the attack, but you might crack, 'cause this game does lack, causing you to give it the sack.
You can't knock the popularity of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series, but you can knock this game all around the galley. Hell, I'd make it walk the plank if it had legs. If you're looking for uninspired, button mashing, containing only the slightest veneer of the Hollywood blockbuster, then you can't go wrong with this piece of ship.
We all know that movie-inspired games are a crapshoot. So we're not surprised when they turn out to be awful, basically exploiting a license by throwing in a few recognizable characters into a cookie-cutter gameplay format. Pirates of the Caribbean is such a game, and by that I mean it's not a good game. It would have made a better interactive movie, as the cutscenes are well produced, but even at that the story is extremely difficult to follow. I also found this to be the case with the last two movies. Not only are they long, but the plot is so convoluted I had a hard time understanding what was going on. Fortunately, so did everyone that I spoke to. So at least I don't feel like a total idiot.
It seems to me that the developers understood the movies about as well as I did, perhaps even less. The basic plot is that Captain Jack Sparrow and his ever-changing gang are out to capture Davy Jones' heart in an attempt to free the souls he's captured - including Jack's dad. Attempting to tackle the plot from the second and third movie, it becomes a tangled mess. And while the game does an decent job of capturing the essence of the movie, allow me to put forth an appropriate metaphor to suggest that you won't get full simply smelling a steak.
Gameplay wise, you'll encounter a series of segmented missions, mini-games, and redundant, button mashing combat. There is some good voiceacting and some funny lines here and there, but you would spend less money going to see all three movies in the theater - and you'll have a lot more fun and probably spend more time in the theater than you would playing this game.
Just about every aspect of this game seems to lack spark. Even the collision detection system is faulty in places. Aiming of various weapons, especially the gun, is trying at best. This is an extremely linear game, and there's quite a lot of backtracking which tends to artificially increase the length of the gameplay. The levels are also arranged like a maze so that you don't always know where you're going or where you are. Another cheap way to pad the content.
You are thrown into each mission, and trapped inside of it by invisible boundaries. In most cases, the missions consist of wiping out the swarms of enemies that keep spawning out of nowhere. They aren't very intelligent, but they do surround you quickly and can cause you some damage especially when you get hit from behind. Although you can play as a few different characters including Jack Sparrow, Will, and Elizabeth, they all share the same move list.